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CUOMO PRIME TIME

President Trump And Kim Jong-Un At Working Lunch; Kim: Meeting With Trump A "Prelude To Peace"; Coverage of Trump-Kim Summit. Aired 12m-1a ET

Aired June 12, 2018 - 00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[00:00:02]

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you all. I appreciate you joining. That's it for us tonight. I'll see you tomorrow. Our live coverage of the Trump/Kim summit continues with Chris Cuomo and Anderson Cooper who is live in Singapore.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Don, thank you very much. I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to a special edition of primetime on an absolutely remarkable day. It is midnight in New York City and noon in Singapore.

Right now, President Trump and Kim Jong-un are attending a working lunch together after this historic handshake that you are seeing right now. The first ever between a sitting U.S. president and the head of the North Korean rogue regime.

All of this just started minutes ago in terms of this working lunch, the policy, the grind of seeing what will come of this moment because this has all been pomp and circumstance to this point.

We first witnessed them meeting face to face three hours ago at a hotel on Sentosa island. A warm handshake, smiles, a couple of pats on the back from President Trump, very cordial. Then President Trump told reporters he expected the summit to be a success. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I feel really great. We had a great discussion and I think tremendous success. We'll be tremendously successful. It's my honor and you will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: You hear the president and the press with all the clicks. They just got a moment to get a peek in there in the second setting and then they were out. There was a face-to-face meeting between the two leaders and just their interpreters that went on for 35, 40 minutes.

What happened in that room? The question is will we ever know? The bigger question, where do we go from here? Let's start with Jim Sciutto in Singapore. We witnessed history together. That is just objectively true, and how it was presented to us is important. I understand that you've been told that parody was very important to the North Koreans, that they wanted to be presented as equal every step of the way, even with the flags behind the two gentlemen, six or seven of each.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right. They want to be treated as equals. They wanted to be face-to-face with the U.S. president as equals, and they wanted all the pomp and circumstance to deliver that message, six U.S. flags, six North Korean flags, getting equal space on that stage behind them.

They wanted it to be the same number of advisers across the table from each other. That parity means something. This is a regime that going back decades has negotiated down to the heights of flag poles behind negotiators in important negotiations and we saw that again today.

But the key part of that, of course, is getting the face to face and a one on one with the U.S. president long sought by Kim, by his father, his grandfather, long sought, never achieved. Now achieved today. We don't know every word that was said inside that meeting.

We may never know, as you said, Chris, but we do have reviews as it were from both of the men who were in there, Donald Trump as you said saying that it went very, very good, that they're going to have an excellent relationship.

Just moments ago, we heard Kim Jong-un use the term prelude to peace, calling this meeting a prelude to peace, a remarkable thing to hear from a North Korean leader who has directly threatened American cities with nuclear annihilation.

This is just in the last few months as Donald Trump has threatened North Korea with fire and fury but a very different message across that table today. Important, though, they're going into the details now, so you got the symbolism right, the relationship building right, it appears.

It's all going to be down to the details. And we know in a right up to the 11th hour, real debate, real back and forth over what the words are going to be in this statement.

Will there be a commitment to denuclearization? Will there be discussion of inspectors going into North Korea to verify denuclearization and what the true deliverables as it were from these talks were and that is what's truly important.

CUOMO: Good points, Jim, I mean, just a few months ago, you had "Little Rocket Man" best not be messing with. That was Trump's vernacular, and you had the North Koreans calling President Trump a dotard. Today pats on the back and promises. So, we've gotten the glory out of the way. Now it's about the grind. What comes next?

SCIUTTO: That statement will be key. Do they agree on the words that demonstrate what concessions they've made to each other, words to look for? Is denuclearization in there? Does North Korea commit in writing to that?

What does denuclearization mean to both sides, is there detail or definition of that? What is the scope of it, for North Korea or the whole Korean Peninsula which would be a concession from the U.S.?

[00:05:11] And what is the time line? Is it something we promised to do something between friends or does North Korea make a hard commitment in a couple years or several months to begin to dismantle? Those are the key questions. Will you get any of that in a statement or will that be punted down to later negotiations?

CUOMO: I think they're going to have to, Jim --

SCIUTTO: Well, most likely --

CUOMO: -- the give to get ratio here is way imbalanced right now because this is what the North has always wanted, parity, this pomp and circumstance, equal footing with the United States, respect, and they got it by saber rattling and threatening nuclear attacks. So now the United States has to come away with this with something. Give me a quick button.

SCIUTTO: What could that be? Listen, they have to have a commitment. You're absolutely right that that commitment if it's followed through on would be followed through over a great period of time with other hurdles down the line.

But for President Trump to call this substantively a success, you can argue it has to be more than a meet and greet because then why did you have the meet and greet if it truly is an excellent, terrific relationship as he said, what comes of that relationship? And you'll get your first indication in that written statement.

CUOMO: Jim Sciutto, thank you so much. Please, we know that they're ongoing events right now, if you hear anything, get in my ear and we'll bring you right back. Appreciate it.

All right. The question of what to do with North Korea, this goes back so far, at least 70 years when we were dealing with what was happening with division on the peninsula, but now look where we are a moment that many thought would never happen.

So, let's get a sense of what this means to the men and women in Washington. We have Democratic Congressmen John Garamendi with us right now. Congressman, good to see you. That is a moment many thought would never happen. On its face, is it a big win for the president already?

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN GARAMENDI (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, yes, depends what happens next. This is certainly a major moment. This is extremely important among the three paths that could have been followed, one is war. That's a horrible situation.

The other is simply accept the fact that they can threaten America with a nuclear weapon. That's not a good one. Negotiations, that's the path we're on, that's the right path. Where does it go from here remains to be seen?

It will not be easy, and we must be very careful because it's not just about the united states. This is about South Korea, Japan, China, Russia, the neighborhood, what comes of peace on the peninsula, do we have an armistice or a peace treaty between these two countries?

CUOMO: And you could argue the most important man isn't there, right? The South Korean leader has been so fundamental in making this happen, and he's also a big pivot point going forward because he has his own economic considerations, his own relationship with China.

Let's stick with the moment for a second. So, I guess the biggest pushback at this point is at what price did the president get this meet and greet? He gave the North what they've always wanted, parity, respect of being on the world stage as an equal with the United States of America.

And they got there by threatening nuclear capabilities, so the criticism becomes, so this is how you get America's attention? Isn't this what we'll keep seeing from rogue nations?

GARAMENDI: We're certainly going to see this kind of thing occur probably again. Take a look at Iran. The Iran deal has been pushed aside. Iran is now talking about starting up their nuclear ambitions once again.

And certainly, there's no doubt that a nuclear bomb gets you respect, r-e-s-p-e-c-t. They're going to have a lot of respect for him when they have a bomb and North Korea does.

And clearly that was a principle factor to get with their ICBMs that literally brought the United States to the table as well as North Korea and you quite correctly said, the role of South Korea, President Moon in this cannot be put aside. It was fundamental.

CUOMO: Well, you know, it's interesting. First of all, it's interesting you're a Democrat and you agree with the president's move here. You think this was the right move to do, right?

GARAMENDI: Absolutely. The other move was war or just accept the fact that they can continue to threaten us. We had to go to negotiations. I said this more than a year ago as this thing started to blossom and here we are. Will it be successful in the future? There is no end of the day here, but in the future, those steps we'll have to see what comes, good, hard negotiations are going to have to take place right away.

CUOMO: All right. Be that as it may, it is good to see a Democrat who agrees with something the president does come out and say so. We need more action on common ground by you men and women otherwise we'll be stuck in this toxic finger pointing forever.

[00:10:09] So, that's progress just on its face having you on tonight saying that. So, now there is what will make it a success beyond the photo ops. The Aretha Franklin song THAT you are referring to. That song is all about is give and get, right, I've given to you, what do you give back. So, North Korea has gotten a lot just with these photo ops. What does the United States have to get here and now for this to be a success?

GARAMENDI: First, I would say a very clear timetable and a path with certain steps along the way that would be towards the denuclearization, quite probably an accounting of what they have available, the weapons they have, the facilities they have, and then simultaneously a freeze, which now seems to be in place, a continuation of the freeze on the development of new bombs and continued testing of the missile systems.

That would be right at the outset. Now there have been discussions by Pompeo, a fellow that I know very well having served with him on the Armed Services Committee for five years, I don't know what he has put together, but my guess is that he has put together a framework of steps that have to be taken possibly with certain time calendars associated with that.

That's all good. I want to hear that. I know that Congress definitely wants to hear that. And we want to be very, very sure that the president does not give away what we do have on the peninsula, which is the American forces there that are absolutely critical to the safety of South Vietnam as well as --

CUOMO: But you have to believe, Congressman, that that is going to be on the table. North Korea has such existential concern. Jim Clapper, the former director of National Security, was on with me and he'll be on again. He said when he met with the North Koreans that they had paranoia about bombers.

So, even if it's not about the personnel on the peninsula, that will get tricky if the North and south have peace, but the idea of bombers may be on the table, military capabilities, ships in the area. Are you willing as a Democrat, as a member of Congress, to give on any of the U.S. capabilities in the area?

GARAMENDI: No, not unless there's clear movement on the part of North Korea to move away from its nuclear armaments, nuclear program, and from the ICBMs. Unless that is absolutely clear, the answer is no, we should not give one inch, not one plane, not one tank, not one gun until such time as we have some clarity about exactly what's going to go happen and it's verifiable.

Keep in mind that this is not the first negotiation at the highest level. This is probably the fourth negotiation at the highest level, although the principles did not sit down. And each and every time in the past, North Korea just continued to hide its nuclear program and continue on its way towards multiple nuclear bombs.

CUOMO: Well, there's one factor that has changed and our source on the potential for this change is none other than Dennis Rodman. Dennis Rodman, according to Jim Clapper, the director of National Intelligence and by all indications, the best resources when it comes to understanding the mind of Kim Jong-un because he's had the most in- depth conversations about this with him.

And he says that this man is open to peace and that he wanted a meeting like this. He said it four years. He went to the Obama administration and tried to get their attention and they blew him off, and now here we are. Do you believe Dennis is reckoning that Kim Jong-un has an open mind and an open heart when it comes to peace? Can you believe that from a despot who kills his own people with regularity?

GARAMENDI: Well, he's at the table with the president and he has his nuclear weapons, his intercontinental ballistic missiles, and he's in the power of position at the moment. We certainly have plenty of power. We have our Army, Air Force and our own bombs.

So, it's a different situation now. The thing I'm curious about if Dennis Rodman is the guy that knows all about Kim Jong-un. Who is the fellow that Kim Jong-un has in the United States and knows all about President Trump, understands the president's mind? I don't know.

Certainly, there are few of us that are wondering about that. But nonetheless, this is important. We can look to the future here and be hopeful that out of this summit will come continued negotiations and a step down, step-by-step over the next several months and years to move away from what has been one of the most dangerous places in the world.

[00:15:10] Certainly, you look at Syria and Iraq, those are dangerous, but you look at North and South Korea, this is where the big international war will start right there, and it could start at any moment. The mission of the American military in South Korea is ready to fight tonight. And so, it is a razor's edge every day, every moment, every second. Anything that backs that down is a good thing.

CUOMO: That is a heavy consideration and we know in a recent report from the DNI that they consider Russia, China, and North Korea to be the biggest security profile threats from a cyber perspective for the United States of America. Before you even get to nukes or conventional weapons, they are worried just about cyber capabilities. Congressman Garamendi, appreciate your perspective on this. Hope to have more conversations with you going forward.

GARAMENDI: Look forward to it, Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Be well. So, President Trump and Kim Jong-un face to face, but there are concerns, even some Republicans are wondering if this is the right message to other dictators, others desperate for this type of recognition. Let's take that on in our great debate. Jennifer Granholm, Rick Santorum on deck next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:20:01] CUOMO: Welcome back. We're in special coverage because we are living a rare moment in history, the leaders of the United States and North Korea have met and right now they're in a working lunch with their policy teams, hopefully banging out some meaningful steps towards a de-escalation of nuclearization on that peninsula and some kind of lasting peace. But what an extraordinary moment in just the last few hours. This is a moment we never thought would happen, to see Kim Jong-un and the president of the United States joining hands. Just a few months ago, it was "Rocket Man" and the dotard and threats of saber rattling and missiles being launched, seemed like every other day.

Now both sides expressing optimism about the talks and reintroduction that nobody saw coming of Dennis Rodman. He said several years ago he believed the North Korean dictator was open and wanted to meet.

He is now in Singapore and he is providing us with some insight on this so-called friend for life. Remember, Dennis Rodman may be the only American who knows Kim Jong-un the way he does.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: You talk about speaking with Kim Jong-un. Does he understand or speak English?

DENNIS RODMAN, MET REPEATEDLY WITH KIM JONG-UN: The only thing about him, he's more like a big kid even though he's small. He's more like a big kid, but he loves to have a good time. This morning he was taking selfies and stuff like that. And I was saying this guy wants to be around the world. He wants to come to America. He wants to enjoy his life.

He wants his people to enjoy their lives, but the fact that he doesn't have the tools and maybe the politics of this whole meeting, this is going to change a lot and I hope president Trump can understand that Kim is trying to reach out and get to the 21st Century.

CUOMO: Do you think he speaks or understands English?

RODMAN: Well, I think he understands bits and pieces. If you're talking about basketball, yes, he understands that.

CUOMO: So, you think it's about what he wants to talk about? Do you think he studied English?

RODMAN: I could say one thing. People know that Kim Jong-un is not a dumb man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Look, it's never easy to get a straight answer out of Dennis Rodman but he was there. He has spent time with Kim Jong-un. He has spent time with Donald Trump, and he was right about this moment eventually happening. Take it for what it's worth.

So, there is a lot to digest and discuss. Let's have a great debate, Jennifer Granholm and Rick Santorum. Jennifer Granholm, President Trump just won a second term, may get the Nobel Peace Prize because of what is happening in Singapore right now.

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, my God.

CUOMO: Don't you walk off the set.

GRANHOLM: I'm walking off. No, here's what I would say. Yes, the Nobel Peace Prize has been a surprising factor that has loomed over his motivation here, ever since that rally where everybody was yelling Nobel, Nobel.

The word is out of the administration that the president has been obsessed about it. So, here's my fear about this, yes, you want this to succeed. We all want this to succeed. It is a good thing to be in diplomacy with North Korea as long as we get something out of it.

But my concern is that he wants this so much, he can taste it, and therefore, you might see some overselling of, a, what the deal is to the world, or some willingness to accept a softer deal than what we might otherwise think is helpful for the United States or the rest of the world.

So that Nobel thing, Chris, I think it is looming large over this. I don't think he'll get it, but I do think that it's looming large.

CUOMO: I think most likely recipient at this point --

GRANHOLM: And forget about the second term thing.

CUOMO: That's the speculation, right, that this kind of huge move abroad with a strong economy, but it's all about the ifs and buts and the details. There's no question about that.

Rick, you know, I think if they were going to give a prize for anything that comes out of this, I think that the leader of South Korea would probably be a leading candidate for it.

It's amazing how he's massaged these two sides to get to this point, but here's the problem with the introduction for your side of this. How did we get here? By North Korea saying we want to blow you up and we have nukes, give us our respect or else, and now here he is sharing the stage with the president of the United States. Tricky message.

RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it's a real problem. It's a grave concern for everybody just to see what's going on here as to how we got here. We got here through appeasement on the part of both Democratic and Republican administrations for quite some time.

[00:25:08] And now we have not only a nuclear North Korea, but a nuclear North Korea that has the missile capability to deliver the nuclear weapon to the continent of the United States.

CUOMO: Is this the biggest show of appeasement we've ever seen? Nobody would meet with him. They wouldn't give him parody --

SANTORUM: They wouldn't meet with him because they weren't in a position to be a threat. Now you have someone who's an actual threat. You have someone who, unlike most nuclear nations in the past, were not governed by crazy people. The Russians, the Chinese, the Indians, Pakistanis, you go down the list, they're by and large stable governments who were somewhat predictable in the way they would behave. Here you have someone that is not predictable. That's the problem with Iran, another regime that is unpredictable.

So, if we see that by not intervening in North Korea, you've set up a dictator who is unpredictable in a threatening position to the U.S. Iran will be another one if we do not stop Iran. And that lesson will be learned over and over again until at one point one of these crazy regimes is actually going to do something that can threaten the entire world.

CUOMO: God forbid. Jennifer, reading by the secretary of state's message today, which is all we'll accept is denuclearization and there has to be some type of intervention and some type of inspections. It keeps sounding just like the Iran deal, which they just walked away from, kind of a mix message there too, no?

GRANHOLM: Well, yes, I mean, we would be lucky to get in North Korea a 97 percent elimination of nuclear capability. We would be lucky to get that in North Korea and Iran's capabilities were not even close to being as far developed as North Korea's are.

To me, if we don't see out of this statement -- I mean, the president himself and Pompeo have said that nothing short of denuclearization will suffice. As you've been pointing out ON your show tonight, Kim has already received a win. It is a huge win for him to be on parity.

CUOMO: They've wanted this for generations.

GRANHOLM: They've been wanting it forever. So, if we don't walk out with this statement, with the joint statement saying that North Korea is committed to denuclearization with steps either in a process, maybe it's by the end of Trump's first term, but whatever it is, it has to be denuclearization, verifiable irreversible, permanent.

CUOMO: Here's the grab. Here's what I keep hearing from the other side. Rick, if North Korea says, fine, we commit to that, but on that next line put and so do you, united states, you're going to back your ships off, you're going to denuke yourself, that's going to be part of this too. If you want no nukes, then you can't have them either, then what?

SANTORUM: That's very complicated obviously. Look, South Korea, I can't imagine South Korea would be promoting this if that wasn't something they knew that North Korea was going to demand. Just almost implicitly you have to be believe the South Koreans are at least open to that possibility of a denuclearized peninsula.

The real question is Japan and how the Japanese would respond to that. That's a much more complicated situation and I would suspect the Japanese would be less willing to denuclearize that area than maybe the South Koreans would.

CUOMO: Well, also -- GRANHOLM: And --

CUOMO: The president said that he would wait on Congress to get approval from this. Jennifer, do you think Congress of the United States would agree to denuclearizing United States anywhere?

GRANHOLM: No, I don't. I don't think they would agree to minimize the U.S.' power anywhere but let me just say Japan is part of the G7, and this is part of the ridiculous strategy that the president engaged in this weekend, going into this meeting.

I know Larry Kudlow on Jake Tapper's show, and we wish him well with his heart attack, but I know he said part of the strategy was to attack Justin Trudeau to go into this meeting feeling strong.

I'm telling you, Japan as part of the G7, it's a two-front battle that the president is waging. Not only does he not have his allies going into this negotiation in North Korea, he's also got an adversary on the other side. So, it's America alone. What a terrible strategy.

Not only that, but his response was the response of someone who is so fragile, they're a snowflake. When you to listen what Justin Trudeau said, he was utterly calm and rational.

He said things that he had been saying in the past, which was that unfortunately Canada would have to retaliate if the United States places those tariffs on, which they have. To me, I'm just saying that he went into this meeting without allies and looking like a fragile snowflake, and that is a bad posture to be in.

[00:30:00]

CUOMO: Rick, let me give you the last word on this. Do you believe that the President went up to the G7 looking to blow it up, looking to show that he has no set friends or allies or is beholding to anybody as showing that he's a fair broker walking into the North Korea Summit.

RICK SANTORUM, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think Donald Trump's attitude toward our -- a lot of our allies is that they -- they have built America for bad trade deals and they haven't helped -- held up their end.

CUOMO: We have a positive trade balance with Canada as you know by the way.

SANTORUM: I -- I'm just saying, generally speaking our allies -- yes if you include services that is correct. But ...

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Why wouldn't you? We're of service (inaudible) ...

(CROSSTALK):

SANTORUM: Well I'm just saying -- I understand but you know his focus is on manufacturing and goods. I'm just saying. So I'm not saying that's right I'm just saying that's his focus. So but the other aspect is that they haven't held up their end from a national security point of view.

That they haven't you know contributed their -- the fence dollars as part of NATO or -- or even beyond the boundaries of NATO and so that's the attitude and I'm not saying it's a good one.

I've heard a lot of people criticize, you know he's mean to our enemies and he's nice -- I mean, mean to our allies and nice to our enemies. What he's saying is our allies have to step up and be allies and be good partners.

And that's the -- that's why you got the reaction he is and as far as our enemies, look, Donald Trump was handed a situation of a nuclear North Korea and is trying to do the best he can to try to -- to -- to try to obviously defuse the situation. So I -- I don't blame him for this meeting. I blame the fact the failure in the past administrations, not this one.

CUOMO: Well, here are two things we know. We'll end it on this. One, North Korea started really getting energetic and ramping it up when Trump was in there. Maybe they knew something about him about what he would respond too.

And you can feel things but how you express them at this level really matters and it raises that doubt will he saying that screws this all up and everything that we're now applauding. We'll see. Rick Santorum, Jennifer Granholm, thank you as always.

All right so in just a moment we're going to bring in Christiane Amanpour live from Singapore as President Trump makes friends and possibly, possibly peace with Kim Jong Un. Can it really happen? Amanpour's take next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUMO: Welcome back to our special coverage of the Nuclear Summit between President Trump and Kim Jong un. We are living a historic moment right now. Right now we see there is the President of the United States and a leader of North Korea. They had been at a working lunch.

We now see the gentlemen walking again; I believe they are accompanied by their interpreters, maybe someone else. They had a face to face meeting with only interpreters. That is Kim Jong un's sister we are told.

She had a fundamental role in the early reckoning of this event by going to meet with the South Korean leadership about this. So she has been involved as well but of course now, it's going to come down to the word of the supreme leader and of the President. Let's see if we can hear anything?

No, it's too far away and it's going through their interpreters but again the men have been in very close quarters. Remember, little rocket man best not be messing with and Trump is (inaudible), you know this archean term of saying that he is old and not longer in possession of his faculties.

And now here they are; handshakes, pats on the back, great honor to be together, terrific relationship, we're going to do great things. Kim echoing those sentiments when just a few months ago it seemed as though this may come to a military conclusion as likely as anything diplomatic.

But now here they are, obviously there is a huge barrier of language. Dennis Rodman told us that he believes that Kim does understand English in part, that he has spoken with him in English before but certainly not enough to conduct any business. Let's listen and see if they say something now.

(AUDIO)

TRUMP: It's going great. We had a really fantastic meeting. A lot of progress. Really very positive. I think better than anybody could have expected. Top of the line. Really good. (Inaudible). We're going right now for a signing. (Inaudible). We're going to be announcing that in a couple of minutes.

(END AUDIO)

CUMO: All right. Let's get to Christiane Amanpour in Singapore. Christiane assigning -- you know we do expect from President Trump to have some hyperbole. He is known that way. He needs this to be perceived as a success because he gave so much in giving the North Korean regime parody with him on the world's stage. But he said we're off to a signing. Could they have reached any substantive agreement at this point?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well we have been talking all day about a possible declaration and a signing of that. So this may be what we're talking about. Not quite sure and we'll wait to see.

It's really interesting to watch how this is unfolding. And you saw as they sort of walked out of those porticos, President Trump sort of steered him I guess so maybe that was the only way, but right past the cameras. He was able to talk to the press. Kim Jong un was not and then they walked on.

I'm not sure whether they're having an even longer walk but you know anytime these two leaders meet, well I see cars frankly. They're getting into cars and going somewhere. Not quite sure where or what the next item on the agenda is but this looks pretty interesting. They've had their one on one. It lasted, we're told, about 45 minutes. And they're not getting into the car ...

(CROSSTALK)

CUMO: No, I think that -- Christiane. I think the President of the United States was just showing Kim his much celebrated special Cadillac. You know that's the President's special car that they call the beast. And it seems like he was letting him check out his car.

AMANPOUR: Could've been -- could've been unclear but you may absolutely be right. Obviously, the body language has been -- a great deal of focus has been on that. It's been very equal in terms of equal, sort of, patting on shoulders, patting on arms, and all the flags, the number of flags, where they spoke, where they met, how they met. Do you remember when they first came out to shake hands --

CUOMO: Sure.

AMANPOUR: -- and there had been some talk before, that the more senior leader would be in the room first and then, the more, you know, relatively junior leader would meet. Well, they actually came out of those arches, exactly at the same time, stood in front of the flag, exactly at the same time, shook hands.

CUOMO: Right.

AMANPOUR: So apparently, the North Koreans are incredibly keen on this kind of parity and to be treated as equals. So I think, what we really do have to say is that, for the North Korean leader, Kim Jong- un, he has done a total 360 in the space of several months. He has gone from international pariah to international statesman. He's gone from the madman of the hermit kingdom to the man who is able to summon a summit with a President of the United States, having already laid the groundwork with the President of South Korea, and having just --

CUOMO: Right.

AMANPOUR: -- presented himself as somebody who is able to almost flip on a dime.

CUOMO: All right, so let's bring in Jim Clapper. Jim, this is fairly extraordinary, all right. I am -- I am no stranger to the fact that, sometimes in these events, we can hype simple moments but I'm pretty sure that these two guys just went to check out one of their own cars (ph)?

I mean that's what it looked like. They -- they didn't have a screw up of logistics. Certainly, Kim wasn't going to get into the president's vehicle and go somewhere. So is that the kind of gesture that you would have at this level, just to relate on a human level?

JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER UNITED STATES DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Absolutely, and I'd go back to Dennis Rodman's wisdom about Kim Jong- un's interest in things American. So it doesn't surprise a bit, and I thought that was a great gesture, to go show him the very unique vehicle that the president rides in.

CUOMO: Now, this seems to be a little bit of ad hoc moment here. They seem to be discussing what's going to happen next. We see, Bolton's face keeps popping up. John Bolton, on the left side of the screen now, the two sides are separating.

Again, the mood seems very light. They were supposedly going to a signing but they are now walking in opposite direction. The president entered a room, Kim walking away. So do you think that means that they already did sign or we would've seen it, so I don't know that it happened or was that a little getting ahead of the bull?

CLAPPER: Hard to tell, you know, and it will be interesting to see if there is some sort of the joint declaration, joint release, joint public statement, and of course, we'll be parsing the wording of that till the cows come home, but it seems to me, that's kind of the next step here.

CUOMO: Does this seem a little bit more random and unscheduled than other events of its kind?

CLAPPER: Well, I think if you just orchestrate this, choreograph it just so much, and I think, both the principles are given to doing things extemporaneously, both of them, and I think, as much orchestration made going to this, that there was a little free willing (ph) here on both their parts.

CUOMO: All right, so now, they've gone to their own side. Christiane, you're still with us right? You were saying earlier, that this --

AMANPOUR: I am indeed, Chris.

CUOMO: -- this signature could be a declaration of intentions. We've seen plenty of those, which isn't a promise to do anything but it's a promise to promise, to do things. What do we expect next, in this summit?

AMANPOUR: Well -- well, to be honest, we actually had never seen a declaration signed by both presidents, so both leaders, so that would be --

CUOMO: Oh, true. We haven't seen anything by both leaders.

AMANPOUR: -- a very important -- I wonder -- right. And I just wonder what DNI Clapper would say about the analysis. Basically, look, what can one expect? It would be very, very good, according to experts, if the U.S. could get out of this meeting, a pledge, that the North Koreans would admit and tell them about their nuclear stockpiles, about their missile stockpiles, would declare them, declare them and then, promise to allow them to be verified.

And if they could get, for instance, the North Koreans to continue what they're doing right now, which is freeze on their intercontinental ballistic missiles test, freeze on their nuclear weapons test, but not just for now, for the entire duration of the negotiators continuing their work on the final status settlement.

So those would good things, I'm told by experts, and I just also wonder whether DNI Clapper and you all might think that, you know, this is an amazing moment. There's no doubt about it, but it is a little bit, sort of, Nixon goes to China. He is a republican president. The republicans are not going to criticize him, whereby, they may have crucified a democrat for doing the same things. And I think that's why this is an important moment to grab the initiative here and to see whether it can actually pay off down the road, but there needs to be a minimum got out of Kim Jong-un at this summit, where he has transformed himself on the international stage and already won a major victory.

CUOMO: Christiane makes a good point. They did crush Obama for saying that he would meet with despots without conditions. We all remember that and yet, that could be what's happening right now. Is a pledge to freeze and let us see what you have, is that enough?

CLAPPER: Well, that's a -- that would be huge, if the North Koreans actually do that. And the question I would have is, well, what are we, you know, gonna offer them?

CUOMO: This isn't enough? If Trump were to say, "Look, we gave you this meeting," you know, "You now have all of this recognition. That's what we gave. Now, you give."

CLAPPER: Yeah, but we're talking, if you're sitting -- if you're sitting in Kim Jong-un's shoes, he's talking about the survival of their country. And certainly, when I engage with the North Koreans and this was some years ago, but you know, their nuclear capability was their -- they felt, was their ticket to survival.

They made that very clear to me, so I don't think, just getting a meeting would -- at least, in my mind, I'd be very surprised if they did that without some sort of concession or agreement, on our part, about what it is that we're going to do, so they don't, as I said earlier, don't have to depend on nuclear weapons for their security.

Another factor, Chris, I do want to point out is, Kim Jong-un also has a domestic audience. So he's, you know -- the people (ph) are -- it's instilled in them to hate the United States of America, fear the United States of America, and now, they've had this sudden turnabout. So he has to, I think, convey to his -- his -- his domestic audience, what is it that North Korea's going to gain if we give up a capability that we've struggled for decades to achieve.

CUOMO: But it will be very interesting to see what comes out this for the United States. I mean if you're -- from the North Korean perspective, you gotta be happy with this things, but republicans, especially conservatives, have been very damning of any type, of light treatment of despots, certainly during the Obama administration.

What will they get on paper? What will feel real? There are gonna be major political implications other than just the glory of this moment, but it is a big moment in history, no question about it. Jim Clapper, thank you so much for helping us understand this --

CLAPPER: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: -- this is a big deal just because it happened at all, so let's take a quick break. When we come back, we're going to have the latest, live on the ground in Singapore. Remember, this is a full day event. They're 12 hours ahead, so really, it's just before 1 o'clock in the afternoon there. Please stay with CNN's special late night edition Primetime.

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CUOMO: Welcome back to Prime Time. We're doing special coverage here. What a night we've seen. Just minutes ago we heard from the President again. He said things are going, quote, "better than anybody could have expected. Top of the line." And that he and Kim are headed to a signing but then they wound up going in different directions after the President apparently showed Kim Jong-un his car.

Let's take a listen to the sound.

(BEGIN AUDIO)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're doing great. I really think this will be - a lot of progress. It's better than anybody could expect to capitalize, really good. We're going right now for a signing.

(END AUDIO)

CUOMO: We don't know. And the substance matters, not just from a peace perspective but a political one. Remember this, the President's party here in the United States would have crushed Barak Obama for doing something like this. They went after him in damming fashion for his lighter assessments of dealing with this without preconditions and yet here we are. So Trump is going to have to bring home something more than a photo opp. But we have a lot of day left in Singapore. So let's bring in Will Ripley. He's on the scene there. Signing but then they check out the beast, the President's big Cadillac. What does signing mean on the ground there?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know that there were 11th hour meetings here in Singapore yesterday - lower level meetings between the United States and North Korea and they were working toward some kind of joint statement, some kind of agreement that could come out at the end of the Summit.

We know that they had difficulty getting there because of the vastly different definitions of denuclearization that the United States and North Korea have. But then, everything seemed to kind of wrap up kind of quickly. They announced the changes to the schedule. President Trump and Kim Jong-un both departing hours earlier from Singapore than they had originally planned. A lot of people weren't sure what that meant. It now seems as if they were able to come to some sort of an agreement and whatever they're going to be signing, obviously the discussions went well as President Trump said.

I can tell you Chris, I was chatting with North Koreans over the weekend. North Korean officials I was meeting with said there was no option on their end for this not to go well. So they were expecting this to go well. The North Koreans went in prepared, they knew exactly what to say to President Trump.

CUOMO: Well remember, from their perspective, it has already gone well. Just having parity, look at the North Korean flag right next to the American flag. I mean whoever thought we would see that. It's interesting on social media here people are saying, "No, they weren't looking at a car. It was something else." We just showed you the video again. We know these men were trying to find ways to bond in just like a personal human way. What's more natural for guys to want to check our one another's car. As simple as it sounds, here it is again, that's the Beast, the President's special motorcade car and there's Kim Jong-un checking out the inside of it and then they walk away.

So optics are a big a part of this day as anything Will. There is an audience back home for each of these men. What do we know about how much of this is being reported in North Korea?

RIPLEY: So North Koreans (inaudible) did take the extraordinary step of reporting about this summit before it actually happened. They filed a couple different reports. They mentioned that Kim Jong-un was coming to Singapore. They talked about his sightseeing tour of the Marina Bay Sands behind me and some of the other landmarks here around Singapore. But at this moment in side North Korea, people are in the dark because state TV is still on color bars. It doesn't come on the air until 3:00 in the afternoon, a little more than two hours from right now.

So we don't know if at 3:00 Ri Chun-hee the senior news reader who we always see when there is big news in North Korea will come on with some sort of an announcement and video and photos because we know that Kim Jong-un has a small army of photographers following him around here or will the bulletin come later in the day and the pictures come later in the day.

But we have seen North Korea be much more transparent about this summit than previous events including the Inter Korean Summit that happened earlier this year with President Moon Jae-in. And again I was saying I think the reason they were reporting about ahead of time is because they were very confident that this summit was going to go well. And as you mentioned Chris, it really has gone well from the North Korean perspective. Really regardless of what this joint statement says.

CUOMO: Will Ripley, thank you very much. We're going to take a break. We have another live hour of Prime Time coming your way including our interview with Dennis Rodman, the man who knows both President Trump and Kim Jong-un. You have to hear what he has to say. That's next.

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